Lying and such

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    V has been lying on a daily basis. Taken one by one, so far nothing big. A lot of food stuff like pretending to eat and feeding it to the chickens instead, hiding stuff (glasses, flashlights, shoes, etc) and denying it, etc... The accumulation is annoying to say the least. Specially when the child cannot lie and has a big grin on his face which gives him away every time. Now, when he is caught in a lie he tries to hide his face and goes into drama mode "WHY! You always accuse me!!" blablabla.
    I'm sure I will laugh about it one day (actually did already when I had to tell husband): Partner lost his front tooth couple days ago. I set the tooth on a small tray on the kitchen counter. Later that day, Partner bring his little box where he keeps his baby teeth and asks me where the fallen tooth is. It is not on the tray and I ask "who took the tooth?" not looking at anyone in particular. V points at Sweet Pea right away... hum... That's impossile because the counter is the height of a bar and way to high for Sweet Pea. V is smilling... I ask V if he touched the tooth. He proceeds to yell and goes into drama mode. At which point he screams "No! I did not eat his tooth!". What??? Ate it??? V still denies it, but I can actually pisture him "trying" his brother's tooth and then oops! So anyway, Partner is mad because V ate his tooth... I'm mad because of the lie but still hard not to laugh, specially when V blurts out the truth without meaning to.
    Now, tonight was another story. There is a baby gate n front of the stairs going into the basement. It is secured with some special tension screws that you turn until it is so tight that the gate can't move. VERY strong and safe. A few months back, V had been messing with it and it collapse as I intended to open the gate. After denying any responsibility a couple times V then admited to it, in tears, saying that he did not realize it would fall. Ok, he gets lectured about not doing it again for safety reasons and we move on. We did explain that sweet Pea could have gotten really hurt.
    Tonight, the gate falls again, same way. I look at V as I see the loose tension screws.... V still won't admit it! Now that is plain dangerous!! And I'm furious.
    Little white lies are one thing, but we can't mess with safety...
    And there is always that what if... what if he is not guilty... But how can I believe him when telling story is becoming second nature?
    How do you encourage telling the truth? I've had talks about it with him but I can't seem to get through to him.
    Punish for misbehaving and reward for telling the truth? Double punish for misbehaving and lying? Taking the chance of accusing him and making a mistake?
    Right now, I get mad, he cries and nothing good comes out of it.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Try to find out the reason for the lying. difficult child 1 only lies when he thinks he will be in BIG trouble, especially if what he did was an accident or had an unexpected result. difficult child 1 is also the type of kid that can't help his curiosity. He HAS to know how things work and these are the type of scenarios I can see happening in our house if difficult child 2 wasn't his twin. He would absolutely try it again very clearly expecting a different result. Have you paid attention to the tone of your voice when you confront him? Does it have the "you're in trouble tone"?

    On the other hand, the hiding stuff ...... yea, that's difficult child 2 trying to be funny (practical joke) and trying really hard to follow through (lying about doing it) and not doing a good job at it. He gets so frustrated at not being able to pull it off that he denies he ever did it in the first place (save face). difficult child 2 is a horrible joker and an even worse liar.

    Instead of punishing, I (personally) would get to the bottom of the why of each situation and teach other ways to accomplish the same "need". I also give difficult child 1 opportunities to take things apart when I can be there to supervise and put back together because I know that's how he "operates".

    Good luck. I know it's hard but even that is serving a purpose for V and to nip it in the bud, you need to figure out what that purpose is.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ditto what TeDo said.
    Most of these kids are not nearly so manipulative as we think. If we make the wrong assumptions, we end up with major damage.
    You do have to get to the bottom of each "class" of lies.
    The food situation? Given what is in your other post... it sounds like you ARE making a big deal about food, and V feels he has no choice but to hide his refusal. been there done that (me, not my kids... )
    That's different than the hiding-stuff situation.
    Which is different again from the safety situation... in that case, does V have a fascination with how stuff works? Does he need some "old junk" that he can take apart and figure out, rather than doing it to "good stuff"?
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    V is 5. Unfortunately, he is at the age where he is learning the difference between truth and lies and telling lies is part of that process. I would NOT worry overmuch about accusing him wrongly, esp when he gives himself away so easily. Being wrongfully accused and having no one believe you is part of the natural consequences of lying, so it is actually a GOOD thing for you to do with him.

    He has to learn the difference between what is the truth and what is a lie, and learn that lying causes more problems than the truth does. do think that gettting to the bottom of the reason for the lie is important, but you cannot always take time to do it.

    With the safety issues, I would make a BIG consequence, like removing a favorite toy for a time period or no tv or dessert or something. Given V's delays, it may take a while to work through this. I recommend Love and Logic's Magic for Early Childhood to help you navigate how to handle situations like these. It is a great book, in my opinion. In our home the safety things were the big no-no's and the ones where the consequences were pretty severe.

    If he is craving taking things apart, then I would go to a thrift store and get some broken things or cheap things he can take apart (if you don't have any) and supervise him taking them apart. If he won't stick to approved things to take apart, then he has to fix what he breaks.

    A (now) funny story about things taken apart: My dad always took things apart. At age 3 he got up from a nap and took the door off of the refrigerator. My gma was NOT happy, and stood the door in front of the fridge so the food wouldn't spoil. That was in the "wait until your father gets home" days. She was not terribly amused when my gpa didn't scold my dad much, just made him put it back on (with gpa to do the heavy lifting, of course).

    Some kids are just driven to take things apart. It can be a useful thing, but it has to be channeled. I would pitch a fit about the safety gate though. And maybe make V spend birthday money to help buy a gate that isn't as easily taken apart or some sort of cover to install over the tension screws if something can be devised.
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I wonder if what V is doing is really "lying"? He is making it very obvious, in fact, what the truth is - is not lying with his gestures and facial expressions. He is frightened of telling the truth. I think you have to make him not frightened, and you can't do this by punishing him. A philosophical divide from other approaches, I realise! I would just be quite gentle with him and keep, keep explaining that if he doesn't tell the truth, you do not know whether or not you can believe him, in fact you don't believe him - the security gate being a case in point. And if you can't believe him, you will accuse him and get angry with him (you need to explain).
    J also lies sometimes, but he is a lot more convincing and believable when he does so. Which is more worrying.
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    You are all right: it is not a bad lie, but more trying not to be in trouble/finding an escape.
    Every time he has told the truth, I have lowered my voice and told him that I was proud of him for doing so. Then, I usually make him apologize and fix the problem. Interestingly, V then feels much better. I do point it out as well. But lately, it's not really working.
    I'll look into love and logic. It will give me some new ideas.
    The accumulation is just exhausting. Sometimes I wish things would be just a tiny bit easier. I'm tired of being required of having the patience of an angel. :)
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'd keep an eye on it. If he starts to lie about bigger things, I'd worry. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids are horrendous liars, but that doesn't mean they don't or can't lie. My son will lie even now (at almost nineteen) to get out of trouble, however he is so obvious that we know.